Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country, every industry has faced multiple challenges and the blessing in disguise has been the technological adoption. Like all industries, the logistics sector was gradually embracing the tech transformation, but with the onset of Covid, the sector has had a complete digital takeover. These times also gave a few opportunities to think in terms of new business prospects.
The logistics sector a decade back was completely reliant on the legacy transportation landscape, which means there was hardly any reliability factor in the whole system. Things worked on mere assumptions and blind trust that once a truck is loaded it will reach the destination and it was completely on the whims and fancy of the driver. Also, there was hardly any load discovery platform so the entire fleet owners community was completely dependent on brokers and the behaviour of the driver.
With various organisations and players in the logistics industry, digitisation and consolidation of innovations make the area further developed, associated, and rewarding. Between risk mitigation, and expanded consumer loyalty, automation has turned into the foundation for elevated effectiveness in the logistics sector. This is how technology plays a pivotal role in enhancing the logistics sector’s operational efficiency.
Praveen Jain, Co-Founder, Onmove tells Financial Express, “The entire ecosystem talks to each other in a much more efficient manner. From a warehouse guard to someone who’s loading the vehicle to someone who’s supervising in the back end, fleet owner to someone who’s managing the fleet. Everyone is now actually working on a common platform. What tech has done over time is that it has created that visibility and a common dashboard for everybody.”
Living in the real-time economy age, everything boils down to timing, efficiency, and speed. The ever-going evolutions and the involvement of IoT have just made it all smooth sailing, Industry 4.0 what we have named it. “e-commerce segment is where the time-sensitive movement was happening. But if you look at it today, all boardrooms are actually talking about it. And all of them are asking why we cannot use FTL (Full Truckload Freight) express as a concept where the use of technology is prominent and visibility is created to a different level. And by using that, we can bring our inventory levels much lower, have much better planning in terms of, where we keep our inventory, and bring a lot of efficiency to the whole system,” adds Pervinder Singh Chawla, Co-Founder, Onmove. Hence, automation has changed the game between risk mitigation, streamlining costs, and expanded consumer loyalty.
In conversation with FinancialExpress.com, Pervinder Singh Chawla and Praveen Jain, Co-Founders, Onmove by Zast Logisolutions share their views about India’s logistic sector: role of tech-enabled truck deliveries, the market shift toward digital and express needs, how technology acts as a catalyst in supply chains and more.
The logistics industry has been undergoing huge disruptions including a shortage of driver-partners. How is technology helping to improve the situation?
Honestly speaking, if you look at India’s landscape, we have never faced any kind of driver shortage, we must admit that frankly. Drivers are always available. It is more about improving the ecosystem around them. Tech is doing a lot by giving them quick return loads and making sure that they’re back to their base location very frequently, they’re able to spend time with their family and admit their social commitments much more than what they would have otherwise when, you know, they’re out and away from their base location for multiple numbers of days.
The overall tracking landscape, also small fleet owners are actually getting aggregated on an organised platform. And these platforms like ours can create an environment for drivers, which are more human in nature, which take care of their social needs and understands and treats them as humans, which is unfortunately not a reality. And the more you solve these problems there’s no reason, driver as a community will not flourish.
Advanced methods like root streamlining, digital payments, and supply chains are ending up being more viable with raised levels of accuracy.
If we talk futuristically, there are many activities that even though tech has already got implemented, but they’re still dependent on individuals taking action at every step. But as we evolve more in technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and all that many of these processes, things will get even more efficient and they’ll become more streamlined in nature.
But there’s one and the most important link, it would be a great success for this industry when drivers come to that level of education that they start using technology. Because these tech platforms or whatever we are able to make in a take has an adoption curve. And since it has an adoption curve, therefore as an organisation, as an ecosystem, it would be a great turning point when drivers start doing everything online. And it is not just limited to what we can teach. We are a small organisation, if you’re associated with say, 3,000 drivers, that’s the pool of people that we can educate. But this whole industry has to get educated in terms of using technology. And that would be a great achievement within this ecosystem to teach as many drivers to use technology so that they can make their lives better, improve efficiency in processes, and certainly reduce wastage.
Also, whenever a driver needs an advance or something, it’s his App and all requests flow to us. There’s no phone call required to ask for an advance or payment is done, it reflects on its credit. Complete digital payments have helped in scaling the business.